Bidding is now open for the 2019 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release which comprises 64 release areas available for offshore oil and gas exploration – the largest since 2000.
Areas are available for exploration across five basins in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, Victoria and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.
All areas will be available for a single round of work program bidding and is the first release of acreage under a new streamlined system.
The improved system is expected to deliver an annual investment cycle that simplifies bidding, offers greater transparency and responds faster to the market demand.
Release areas present a variety of investment opportunities for both Australian and international oil and gas companies.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said the release was a central component of ensuring Australia’s energy security and export earnings into the future.
He was also pleased that areas for this year’s release are heavily concentrated in the north-west.
“As Minister for Resources and Northern Australia I am pleased to see continued momentum for exploration in our north and the potential jobs and economic growth it would bring,” he said.
“I am also pleased to see industry interest in petroleum exploration in south-east Australia, with nominations leading to seven areas being available for bidding. Future exploration and discoveries in these areas will support our efforts to bring on more gas supplies for the east coast.”
“I look forward to working with the petroleum industry so we can ensure Australia maintains its attractiveness as a destination for exploration investment, and to underpin our long term energy security,” the Minister commented.
Companies have the opportunity to bid on release areas until 5 March 2020.
More information on the 2019 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release can be found here.